October leaders and wander readings
With October having finished this past weekend, the two teams at the top of each conference ended up the Los Angeles Kings in the West and your Tampa Bay Lightning in the East. Although I'm sure we all figured that the Lighting would be better this year, but did you ever think they would be at the top of the Eastern Conference right now?
So the two teams who ended the month on top will face each other on Thursday night. Like the game against the Penguins, if there was ever a measuring stick game to gauge the Lightning this week, the Kings might be it. Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times gives some interesting stats on top teams of previous October's, as "seven of the past 12 Stanley Cup champions lead their conference at this milestone". The conference winners of October has also been a pretty good playoff predictor as only twice in the past 24 seasons has a team missed the playoffs.
I suggest nothing with those stats about the Lighting's playoff chances now as we're still at the beginning of the season, just making conversation, but they are interesting stats nonetheless. Wednesday's game is a late start for the local viewers, but it should be worth the effort if you manage to stay up.
Your links from around the Boltosphere and around the NHL after the jump...
- Pierre LeBrun says that contract talks with Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty maybe have been postponed from the starting during the summer because of the Kovalchuk saga
- JJ from Kukla has some remarks on Stamkos' upcoming contract talks as an RFA
- Bill Meltzer of Versus would like to call Stamkos Mr. October. Sadly no calendar photos come out of it
- ESPN Tampa Bay's Mike Corcoran has a conversation with Lightning prospect James Wright who is playing down in Norfolk
- My post over at LHB calls for the 'Lightning Insider' to be un-masked
- On the humor front, Don't Trade Vinny photoshops his was through the Lightning locker room during Hallowe'en
Links from around the NHL:
- From the Rink has a New Jersey Devils blogger roundtable on: How bad can it get?
- Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail looks at the NHL's new goaltending model: the two-headed monster
- James O'Brien over at ProHockeyTalk looks at special team plus/minus and has some early season results
- Touching story on former Bolt, Kurtis Foster in the Vancouver Sun on remembering their daughter by participating in "A Walk to Remember" with other Edmonton residents
- VFMS looks at Tyler Myers' horrible start
- DGB goes inside Gary Bettman's Halloween party
Tweet of the week come from @fakedanellis:
You poor people really are lucky. You probably don't even know how much the cost of top-hats has exploded this year. #DanEllisProblems